I often hear people talk about writing when the muse strikes. Being a freelance writer means learning to write with deadlines in mind, so waiting around for inspiration is out of the question. Writing fiction on demand is trickier, but it is possible.
Right now, I’m betwixt and between two major fiction projects in radically different stages of development and assorted freelance assignments, too. Creativity is a factor in ALL my work. Is writing a murder mystery the same as writing a blog post for one client or a social media strategy for another? Of course not—although there’s always a devious temptation to create a character based on a person I’ve encountered through my work.
If the muse isn’t running the show, how do I get going on a project? Is it focus? Is it discipline? Is it simply fear? For me, I think it’s all three, plus this unnerving compulsion to WRITE.
I’m having a bad day. I’ve got a cold so I sound like Marlene Dietrich without the sexy accent. My brain is foggy and the one business call I had this morning was riddled with words going M.I.A. because I misheard them. And yet I need to write, so I gave myself the assignment of writing the text for my new freelance writing website. I’m my own client today and I’ve managed a credible first draft of the site that will replace the old one that was ravaged by hackers last fall.
This is a first draft so I’m confident that I will catch errors, make improvements, and, in general, take the text to another level when the brain fog has cleared. I’ve written on demand, but not for publication. That’s an important distinction. There are so many layers and steps between an initial idea and a polished piece of writing. The muse will have to help me buff the words to a high shine, but I can write the gist on demand!